At long last the Supreme Court of Liberia Monday conducted hearing into the much awaited writ of prohibition filed before the court to halt the pending Senatorial election, but the fate of the election hangs as the court failed to state when the next hearing is expected to take place. The writ of prohibition was filed by several political parties and eminent Liberians at the Supreme Court against the National Elections Commission (NEC) calling for a halt to the December 16, 2014 Senatorial election due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in the country, coupled with constitutional violations. Last week it was widely speculated that the high court was to hear the writ of prohibition that led to the current stay order placed on the December 16, 2014 senatorial election, but the hearing failed as Chief Justice Francis Korkpor announced in open court that there was no hearing assigned by the high court on the matter. Monday’s hearing at the Chamber of Supreme Court, which lasted for nearly nine-hours was witnessed by several Liberians from various backgrounds including ordinary citizens as lawmakers with vested interest in the outcome of the writ also turned out.
The National Elections Commission (NEC), the body responsible for all electoral activities in the country slapped with the writ of prohibition backed by the Ministry of Justice told the high court judges that the election was set for December 16, 2014 following consultations and agreement reached with several stakeholders.
In order for the senatorial election to be held in the wake of the Ebola outbreak, NEC lawyer said at all polling centers across the country during voting each eligible voter will be made to wash/his or her hands, stand 3″ feet apart and that each voter temperature will be taken as preventive measures against voters coming in contact with one another which could be dangerous in this period of the Ebola outbreak.
“Your honors NEC is performing its duty consistent with the law and that the petition for the writ of prohibition is intended to create a bitter confusion in the country, because if the election is not heard there will be no legislative forum come the 3rd Monday in January 2015” argued Cllr. Theophilus Gould, NEC’s legal counsel. Cllr. Gould further told the full bench of the high court to deny and not give credence to the petition as he said it was intended to cause confusion in the country.